Re: Organizational Structure
I guess my first question would be, why do you wan to transition to
a project-centric world? What is the purpose of the transition?
I grant that when creating value for customers through a product
line, there should be a `value stream owner' who is responsible for
shepherding the creation of value for the customer, and a cross-
functional team working on creating that value. But I worry that
when all work is focused on the value stream via projects, then
people tend to lose contact with their `communities of expertise',
whether their expertise is database, GUI, transaction processing,
testing, web services, operations, networking, help desk,
In an organization with a good matrix management system, the
functional manager is responsible for creating these `communities of
expertise,' through hiring, training, setting standards, etc. The
functional manager assigns people to work on teams (projects) led by
value stream owners, who have the responsibility to create business
value for customers.
When people contribute their expertise to various teams over time,
the functional manager in a matrix organization is usually
responsible for salaries and promotions, with input from value
stream team leaders. When people work on a single product family
over a period of years, then the product owner may be involved in
setting salaries. In matrix companies, salaries and promotions are
generally not the responsibility of project managers, and thus they
would not be the responsibility of Scrum Masters.
I have seen the matrix model work successfully in quite a few
companies, even though it is often accused of creating
functional `silos'. This has triggered a move to project-centric
models, which, unfortunately, tend to create project `silos' which
do not nurture communities of expertise. This is okay if you are
working in an area where expertise does not give the company a
competitive advantage, but when a company competes based on
particular areas of expertise, it is wise to maintain a place for
that expertise to be nurtured and grown. Doing this is the job of a
--- In email@example.com, "Dave Mell" <dmell@w...>
> Need some help to answer questions from execs when considering theof
> transition from a functionally centric to a project centric
> organizational structure. I'd like some validation/redirection
> my thinking on some pretty basic questions.take
> 1) In a project centric world, for whom does it make sense to
> on the role of determining raises and fostering individuals career
> development? Could be Scrum Master, tech lead, or functional mgr
> but it seems like the person closest to the individuals doing the
> actual work makes most sense.
> 2) What do functional managers do in the project centric world?
> Do #1 above, become Scrum Masters, both?
> 3) Are there any issues or subtleties you would recommend watching
> out for in this top down transition?
- Dave,How's it going there? Are they "getting it" or are you having trouble?Regards,Mike
Dave Mell <dmell@...> wrote:
Need some help to answer questions from execs when considering the
transition from a functionally centric to a project centric
organizational structure. I'd like some validation/redirection of my
thinking on some pretty basic questions.
1) In a project centric world, for whom does it make sense to take on
the role of determining raises and fostering individuals career
development? Could be Scrum Master, tech lead, or functional mgr but
it seems like the person closest to the individuals doing the actual
work makes most sense.
2) What do functional managers do in the project centric world? Do
#1 above, become Scrum Masters, both?
3) Are there any issues or subtleties you would recommend watching
out for in this top down transition?
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